UFC veteran Mark Hunt is in the top 1% of chess players worldwide

Tune in to any UFC broadcast, and you’re bound to hear commentators comparing Mixed Martial Arts to a ‘chess match.’ This analogy often surfaces during slower, less action-packed matches.

Nevertheless, there are moments when a match has the euphoric feel. There are fluid grappling exchanges, constant adaptations to striking subtleties, and openings in defense. It should come as no surprise that some contenders sometimes play a little game of chess in their spare time.

Still, it comes as a bit of a surprise to learn that one of the greatest knockout artists in heavyweight history has also been regarded as one of the world’s top online chess players. Though it has been discussed on social media a few times already, this never ceases to astound.

During the pinnacle of his UFC career, Hunt shed light on his affinity for chess during an interview with The Crowd Goes Wild. According to him, chess was a pastime he stumbled upon in search of affordable entertainment.

“I actually was just trying to find ways to entertain myself. Just, playing chess was a board game and it was cheap, so I taught myself how to play.”

Apart from his kickboxing and chess skills, Mark Hunt also enjoys playing ping pong a lot and is very good at it.

The boxer is now 50 years old, and was forced to withdraw from mixed martial arts competition in 2018 after suffering three consecutive defeats. But in the years after, Hunt has competed in two professional boxing matches. In 2020, he was defeated by rugby player turned boxer Paul Gallen in a 6-round decision. In 2022, he defeated Sonny Bill Williams by knockout, another rugby player turned boxer.

In recent years, Hunt has just filed an appeal against a recent court ruling. Ut determined the UFC was not responsible for Brock Lesnar’s failed dr*g tests before Lesnar and Hunt’s UFC 200 match.

Lesnar’s test results before the match were not made public until after the bout. This is despite the UFC granting him an exemption from the standard 6-month testing period so he could make his comeback for the event. Lesnar was declared the winner by decision, but the result was subsequently changed to a no contest.

You might also like:

Chess federation bans trans women competing against women

Male chess player wore a burqa disguise to compete against women, was found out due to a winning streak

Chinese chess champion stripped of title after pooing in bathtub to celebrate win